Sunday, June 7: USA – Rome
Transatlantic flight to Rome, Italy.
Monday, June 8: Rome
Upon arrival into the Eternal City, enjoy a panoramic view of the Coliseum and the Roman Forum from the motor-coach. Then, visit the Catacombs, where the early Christians used to hide and celebrate Mass. Finally, visit St. Paul Outside the Walls, originally founded by Emperor Constantine to house the Apostle’s remains. Afterwards, transfer to your hotel for a welcome drink and dinner with fellow travelers. (WD)
Tuesday, June 9: Rome
This morning visit the superb Vatican Museums. Admire the vast collection of art, gathered by Popes over the ages. Visit the Sistine Chapel, glorious masterpiece of Michelangelo’s fresco skills. Afterwards, visit St. Peter’s Basilica, constructed on the site of the hallowed tomb of the Apostle, resplendent with mosaics, art treasures, and gold. Among the basilica’s most precious relics include a portion of the wood of the True Cross, and part of the lance that pierced Christ’s side. Touch the beloved statue of St. Peter and admire Michelangelo’s Pieta. Render homage to the many buried popes. In the afternoon, visit St. John Lateran, the mother of all churches and the cathedral of the bishop of Rome, containing exceptional relics; the Scala Santa, containing the Holy Stairs that Jesus Christ ascended during His Passion in Pontius Pilate’s palace; and St. Mary Major, built on the site indicated by Our Lady to Pope Liberius by a miraculous snowfall in the year 356. Dinner and overnight in Rome. (BB, D)
Wednesday, June 10: Rome
This morning attend the weekly Papal Audience at the Vatican. In the afternoon, enjoy a walking tour of downtown Rome, including the Pantheon, the best-preserved monument from ancient Rome, thanks to its transformation into a church in 609; the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, housing the tomb of St. Catherine of Siena, patron saint of Italy; the church of Il Gesu, containing relics of St. Ignatius of Loyola and of St. Francis Xavier; the Trevi Fountain, Rome’s largest and most famous fountain; and Piazza di Spagna, the gathering place in Rome. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Thursday, June 11: Rome – Subiaco – Cascia – Assisi
Travel to Subiaco to pay homage to St. Benedict and his sister St. Scholastica. In the 6th century, St. Benedict, the founder of western monasticism, left Rome to become a hermit in a cave above Subiaco. He founded 12 monasteries in the area, but only two now survive. Enjoy a guided visit of the monasteries of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica. Afterwards, head for Cascia to see the Shrine of Saint Rita, patroness of the impossible cases. A married woman, mother, widow, nun, mystic, stigmatist, and a saint with an incorruptible body, St. Rita played many roles in her life. In the Basilica, pray before the crucifix from which she received the stigmata. Also visit the monastery where she lived. Continue to Assisi for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Friday, June 12: Assisi
This morning your guided sightseeing in Assisi will include the imposing 13th-century Basilica of St. Francis, where the great saint is buried. It houses also many of the saint’s possessions and a series of frescos depicting his life. In St. Mary of the Angels Basilica, visit the Porziuncola Chapel, where St. Francis spent most of his life; the rose bush; and the cave where the saint retired for prayer. Then, visit the Church of St. Clare to venerate the saint’s relics. She was the foundress of the Order of Poor Clares and followed the teachings of St. Francis by living in poverty and humility. The afternoon is at leisure to explore this beautiful medieval town, with its geranium-hung streets, lovely views, and fountain-splashed piazzas. Dinner and overnight in Assisi. (BB, D)
Saturday, June 13: Assisi – Loreto – Bologna
Journey to Loreto to admire the Holy House of Our Lady. According to Catholic tradition, the Holy House was miraculously transported by angels from Nazareth. It is here that most Holy Mary, Mother of God, was born; here she was saluted by the Angel, and here the eternal Word of God was made Flesh. It was the house of the Holy Family in Nazareth and has been for centuries the scene of numerous miraculous cures. Afterwards, travel to Bologna to render homage to St. Catherine of Bologna by praying before her incorrupt body, seated in an upright position since the year 1475. Next, visit the Church of St. Domenico to pray before the tomb of St. Dominic of Guzman, founder of the Order of Preachers. Dinner and overnight in Bologna. (BB, D)
Sunday, June 14: Bologna – Turin
Depart this morning towards Turin. Visit the Duomo, which houses the most venerated relic: the Holy Shroud. Depending on the time allotted to visit the Holy Shroud, there may also be time to visit some of the following sites in Turin this afternoon or the following morning: St. Mary Help of Christians Basilica, to render homage to the great educator St. John Bosco and to St. Dominic Savio; the Santuario della Consolata, to pray before the miraculous image of Our Lady of Consolation; the Basilica of the Body of Christ, housing a Eucharistic Miracle of 1453; and St. Joseph Cottolengo, whose zealous care for the sick and the neglected won for him the honorable title of the “Italian Vincent de Paul.” Dinner and overnight in Turin. (BB, D)
Monday, June 15: Turin – Milan
Transfer to Milan for your guided sightseeing of its breathtaking Duomo, the giant cathedral which houses under its cupola, the relics of St. Charles Borromeo, Archbishop of Milan. If there is time, visit the Basilica of St. Ambrose, the patron saint of Milan, whose tomb rests in the crypt below, with its magnificent religious and artistic treasures, and the Convent of Sancta Maria delle Grazie, where a miraculous image of Our Lady, who protected Milan against frequent plagues, can be venerated. Here also one can admire the “Last Supper” of Leonardo da Vinci, which adorns the refectory wall. Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner to celebrate the success of such a beautiful pilgrimage. (BB, FD)
Tuesday, June 16: Return to the USA
This morning transfer to Milan’s international airport for your return flight.
(BB) Buffet breakfast; (D) Dinner; (WD) Welcome dinner; (FD) Farewell dinner
* Please note: The pilgrimage dates of June 7-16 are tentative. The dates will be confirmed in July 2014.
** In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.
For more infomation, please contact Catholic Heritage Tours or contact Marvin & Judie Stodomingo, Group Coordinators, at (843) 703-0180 or firstname.lastname@example.org.